Daniel 2

The King’s Dream

Now in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar [a]had dreams; and his spirit was troubled and his sleep [b]left him. Then the king [c]gave orders to call in the soothsayer priests, the conjurers, the sorcerers, and the [d]Chaldeans, to [e]tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. The king said to them, “I [f]had a dream, and my spirit [g]is anxious to [h]understand the dream.”

Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in [i]Aramaic: “O king, live forever! Tell the dream to your servants, and we will declare the interpretation.” The king replied to the Chaldeans, “The command [j]from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be [k]torn limb from limb and your houses will be turned into a rubbish heap. But if you declare the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me gifts and a reward and great honor; therefore declare to me the dream and its interpretation.” They answered a second time and said, “Let the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will declare the interpretation.” The king replied, “I know for certain that you are trying to buy time, because you have perceived that the command [l]from me is firm, that if you do not make the dream known to me, there is only one [m]decree for you. For you have agreed together to speak lying and corrupt [n]words before me until the [o]situation is changed; therefore tell me the dream, so that I may know that you can declare to me its interpretation.” 10 The Chaldeans answered [p]the king and said, “There is no person on earth who could declare the matter [q]to the king, because no great king or ruler has ever asked anything like this of any soothsayer priest, sorcerer, or Chaldean. 11 Moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it [r]to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh.”

12 Because of this, the king became angry and extremely furious, and he gave orders to kill all the wise men of Babylon. 13 So the [s]decree was issued that the wise men be killed; and they looked for Daniel and his friends, to [t]kill them.

14 Then Daniel replied with discretion and discernment to Arioch, the captain of the king’s [u]bodyguard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon; 15 he said to Arioch, the king’s officer, “For what reason is the decree from the king so harsh?” Then Arioch informed Daniel of the matter. 16 So Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him a grace period, so that he might declare the interpretation to the king.

17 Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter, 18 so that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his friends would not be killed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

The Secret Is Revealed to Daniel

19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven; 20 Daniel said,

“May the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
21 It is He who changes the times and the periods;
He removes kings and appoints kings;
He gives wisdom to wise men,
And knowledge to [v]people of understanding.
22 It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And the light dwells with Him.
23 To You, God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise,
For You have given me wisdom and power;
Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You,
For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”

24 Thereupon, Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to kill the wise men of Babylon; he went and said this to him: “Do not kill the wise men of Babylon! Take me [w]into the king’s presence, and I will declare the interpretation to the king.”

25 Then Arioch hurriedly brought Daniel [x]into the king’s presence and spoke to him as follows: “I have found a man among the [y]exiles from Judah who can make the interpretation known to the king!” 26 The king said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation?” 27 Daniel answered before the king and said, “As for the secret about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, sorcerers, soothsayer priests, nor diviners are able to declare it to the king. 28 However, there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the [z]latter days. This was your dream and the visions [aa]in your mind while on your bed. 29 As for you, O king, while on your bed your thoughts [ab]turned to what would take place [ac]in the future; and He who reveals secrets has made known to you what will take place. 30 But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me [ad]for any wisdom [ae]residing in me more than in any other living person, but for the purpose of making the interpretation known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your [af]mind.

The King’s Dream

31 “You, O king, were watching and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and [ag]of extraordinary radiance, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was [ah]awesome. 32 The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its chest and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, and its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 You [ai]continued watching until a stone was broken off without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, and crushed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed to pieces [aj]all at the same time, and they were like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the entire earth.

The Interpretation—Babylon the First Kingdom

36 “This was the dream; and now we will tell its interpretation before the king. 37 You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the [ak]kingdom, the power, the strength, and the honor; 38 and wherever the sons of mankind live, or the animals of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has handed them over to you and has made you ruler over them all. You are the head of gold.

Medo-Persia and Greece

39 And after you another kingdom will arise inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth.


40 Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; just as iron smashes and crushes everything, so, like iron that crushes, it will smash and crush all these things. 41 And in that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have within it some of the toughness of iron, since you saw the iron mixed with [al]common clay. 42 And just as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong, and part of it will be fragile. 43 In that you saw the iron mixed with [am]common clay, they will combine with one another [an]in [ao]their descendants; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not combine with pottery.

The Divine Kingdom

44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be [ap]left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45 Just as you saw that a stone was broken off from the mountain without hands, and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place [aq]in the future; so the dream is certain and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

Daniel Promoted

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and paid humble respect to Daniel, and gave orders to present to him an offering and incense. 47 The king responded to Daniel and said, “Your God truly is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of secrets, since you have been able to reveal this secret.” 48 Then the king [ar]promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and he made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon, and chief [as]prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 And Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel was at the king’s [at]court.


  1. Daniel 2:1 Lit dreamed dreams
  2. Daniel 2:1 Lit was gone upon him
  3. Daniel 2:2 Lit said to call
  4. Daniel 2:2 Probably master astrologers, diviners, etc., and so throughout the ch
  5. Daniel 2:2 Lit explain to
  6. Daniel 2:3 Lit dreamed
  7. Daniel 2:3 Lit was troubled
  8. Daniel 2:3 Lit know
  9. Daniel 2:4 The text is in Aramaic from here through 7:28
  10. Daniel 2:5 Another reading is is issued by me
  11. Daniel 2:5 Lit turned into limbs
  12. Daniel 2:8 See note 1 v 5
  13. Daniel 2:9 Or verdict
  14. Daniel 2:9 Lit word
  15. Daniel 2:9 Lit time
  16. Daniel 2:10 Lit before the
  17. Daniel 2:10 Lit of
  18. Daniel 2:11 Lit before
  19. Daniel 2:13 Or law
  20. Daniel 2:13 Lit be killed
  21. Daniel 2:14 Or executioners
  22. Daniel 2:21 Lit knowers of
  23. Daniel 2:24 Lit in before the king
  24. Daniel 2:25 Lit in before the king
  25. Daniel 2:25 Lit sons of the exile of
  26. Daniel 2:28 Lit end of the days
  27. Daniel 2:28 Lit of your head
  28. Daniel 2:29 Lit came up
  29. Daniel 2:29 Lit after this
  30. Daniel 2:30 Or through
  31. Daniel 2:30 Lit which is
  32. Daniel 2:30 Lit heart
  33. Daniel 2:31 Lit its radiance was extraordinary
  34. Daniel 2:31 Or dreadful
  35. Daniel 2:34 Lit were
  36. Daniel 2:35 Lit as one
  37. Daniel 2:37 Or sovereignty
  38. Daniel 2:41 Lit wet clay
  39. Daniel 2:43 Lit wet clay
  40. Daniel 2:43 Or with
  41. Daniel 2:43 Lit the seed of men
  42. Daniel 2:44 Or passed on to
  43. Daniel 2:45 Lit after this
  44. Daniel 2:48 Lit made Daniel great
  45. Daniel 2:48 Lit of the prefects
  46. Daniel 2:49 Lit gate